Dave's Rating:


War dolls succeed at teaching death to kids.

When children simulate the brutality of war with G.I. Joe action figures and one of those dolls meets his molded plastic maker, there is no blood. The child in question simply shouts, "YOU'RE DEAD! BECAUSE I SAY!" Then the liberation of Afghanistan can continue as effectively as in real life.

And when this movie stab-shoot-crushes its umpteenth digitally processed human and decimates millions as all of London explodes thanks to a space-bomb (in the trailer, relax), there's also no death residue. The movie just yells in your face, "BOOM! MURDERED EVERYBODY! I WIN!" And you move along as it instructs you to move along, swaggering nonchalantly like you're The Rock, who always swaggers nonchalantly after killing somebody. For 100 minutes you're on the same fake-death team.

I suppose I could try to tell you what's supposed to be happening in this movie, but that would take up the entire review and, really, you don't care. G.I. Joes are everywhere, retaliating against bad guys, battling the multiple terrorism tentacles of COBRA and along the way to victory there's chaos in Pakistan (bad-good dialogue: "It's not a country it's a riot with a zip code!"), there's a ninja-avalanche, presidential impersonators and kidnapping and torture (more bad-good: "They call it waterboarding but I never get bored") and deep underground prison-caves where guys are kept immobile in isolation water tanks. There's a training getaway sponsored by a blinded RZA (whose acting abilities are the non-existent sort, the kind that I find perversely captivating; I could watch him fail at it for hours and it would only make me like him more), there's Bruce Willis making jokes about his oldness, there's interchangeable young Joes like Adrienne Palicki and whoever those other guys are, there's an old magical healing lady in a secret mountain lair and then, of course, there's the aforementioned space-bomb called Zeus (final bad-good: "Soon the world will cower in the face of Zeus!") that wrecks everybody's chances of finding out what happens on the next season of Downton Abbey.

Most importantly there are weapons. They live in their own lovingly designed hiding places and they obliterate all human activity, even when the humans are, ostensibly, controlling them. They're shiny and big and sometimes they're swords. Even the old mountain lady has a stick she whips out when it's time to stick-fight. They're a step up from the inch-high weapons that come with the dolls, but they're still just cute props for fake people to employ in bloodless executions as they erase your resistance to this children's toy commercial. Enjoy the stupid; I kind of did.


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